If you took a pathway to Yankee and baseball fanhood similar to mine, then share my grief on this worst day on the baseball calendar. Mickey Mantle passed away on August 13, 1995. We’ll go into numbers and detail how incredibly bad a day on the Yankee front this is in that respect where we list player deaths below.
As the Yankees continued to honor the 1996 World Series winners on Saturday, August 13, 2016, something truly remarkable transpired in the game’s second inning. Both coming to bat for the first time in their big-league careers, Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge homered back to back to give the home team a quick 2-0 lead. Masahiro Tanaka pitched superbly to eight Rays hitters, but first baseman Brad Miller reached him for two home runs, good for four runs. Fortunately, other players on the young side came to the rescue, and long balls from Starlin Castro, Did Gregorius, and Aaron Hicks carried the Yanks to their 8-4 win.
Mickey Mantle had one of those many headline-grabbing days almost 40 years earlier on August 13, 1957. He went 3-for-3 and drove in all three runs in a 3-2 win over the Red Sox.
Roger Maris joined Mickey Mantle in homering in the first game of a doubleheader with Washington on this day in 1961, but that’s it as the Yanks lost, 12-2. But they came back to win game two 9-4, after Roger homered again in the nightcap.
Given what has transpired since, it is not too surprising to report that Mark Trumbo reached CC Sabathia for a two-run first-inning jack in Yankee Stadium on August 13, 2013, in a game the visitors led 3-2 going into the bottom of the fifth, but the five hits, a walk, and four runs the Angels got off Dellin Betances, newly converted to relief work, in the ninth is. Of course, Betances did get two strike outs as well, and by the time he took the hill, the home team had opened up an 11-run lead in the 14-7 win. Alfonso Soriano knocked in six runs with two homers and a single, while Eduardo Nunez collected four rbi’s. Unfortunately, Nunez made two errors in the field as well.
The offensive star of the Yanks’ 8-2 victory over Texas in the Bronx on August 13, 2012, was settled early, as Nick Swisher collected four of his five rbi’s with a third-inning grand slam, the 200th home run of his big-league career. David Phelps survived five innings to get the win, giving way in the sixth to newly signed Derek Lowe, who was making his first relief appearance since pitching in that role for the Dodgers against the Mets on July 22, 2007.
The most significant thing about the Yankees choosing to commemorate Derek Jeter‘s month-old achievement of having amassed 3,000 career hits in the August 13, 2011 tilt against Tampa, the same opponent against whom he had the record-making hit, was the effect it appeared to have on one of Derek’s oldest and dearest teammate friends in the 9-2 Yankee win. Not only did Jorge Posada come through with three hits and six rbi’s, he passed both Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle on the team’s all-time grand slam home run list with his 10th. Rays manager Joe Maddon caused a stir by employing a dramatic overshift, a strategy that has become commonplace in 2012, against both Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira, but on this night it was ineffective, as the two each had two hits, scored two runs, and knocked in a run.
The pesky Baltimore Orioles visited Yankee Stadium on August 13, 2007, and immediately jumped on Chien-Ming Wang for three first-inning scores. It was announced on the Scoreboard that based on his work in the just completed 5-1 road trip to Cleveland and Toronto, Alex Rodriguez was now the only player in history to have homered 35 times, scored 100 runs, and driven in 100 runs for 10 straight years. The Yanks promptly took the lead on Bobby Abreu and Wilson Betemit home runs, but the Orioles tied it in the ninth on a Brian Roberts fielder’s choice rbi. But Derek Jeter returned the favor in the bottom half of a 7-6 Yankee win.
Roy White homered from each side of the plate in a 6-0 win over the Angels on August 13, 1973.
Joe DiMaggio and Babe Dahlgren, with two homers apiece (both hitting one over the fence and legging out one inside the park!), led the offense and Red Ruffing shut down the A’s, as the Yanks swamped them, 21-0, on August 13, 1939.
Red Ruffing, who was honored in 2004 for being the winningest righthander in Yankee history with an Old Timers Day installation of a plaque in Monument Park, took care of both ends in a 1-0 victory over the Senators on August 13, 1932. He shut out the Senators over 10 innings, and then he slugged a home run off Al Thomas for the game’s only score and the win.
Orlando “el duque” Hernandez set a Yankee rookie record by striking out 13 while beating Texas 2-0 on August 13, 1998.
Yankee August 13 trades and transactions: pitcher Tony Armas, Jr., to the Red Sox for Mike Stanley in 1997; righty Ken Clay to the Rangers for ageless Gaylord Perry in 1980; and last and least, the team was purchased by CBS in 1964.
The top four in the Yankee order recorded 13 hits among them in a 14-2 dismantling of the Twins in Yankee Stadium on August 13, 1999. Derek Jeter singled three times; Paul O’Neill added a double and two singles; and Bernie Williams homered, doubled, and singled twice. But honors go to leadoff man Chuck Knoblauch, who singled twice and hit a grand slam. Andy Pettitte coasted to the win over LaTroy Hawkins.
Yankee reliever David Weathers threw the gopher ball that White Sox third sacker Robin Ventura smashed for a grand slam in an 8-4 Chicago win over the Yanks on August 13, 1996.
Hideki Irabu outdueled Tim Belcher in an August 13, 1997, 8-3 Yankee win over the Royals in Yankee Stadium. Paul O’Neill and Tino Martinez homered in the game.
Jim Kaat bested Mel Stottlemyre in a 5-2 Twins win over the Yankees on August 13, 1969. Rich Reese went 4-for-4 on the day and Joe Pepitone returned to the Yanks after being absent without permission (though he did not play).
Baltimore’s Jim Palmer fashioned an 8-0 no-hitter against Oakland on this day in 1969.
The Bombers swept the Browns on August 13, 1924, 1-0 and 2-1, and regained first place in the process.
And they swept the A’s in Philly three years earlier on August 13, 1921, 7-2 behind Carl Mays, and 13-7 with Bob Shawkey. Bob Meusel cracked home runs in each game.
Back-to-back, two-out, ninth-inning home runs from Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi off Francisco Rodriguez were too little too late in a 5-3 Yankee Stadium loss to Anaheim on August 13, 2006. The Yanks were down 3-0 in the first on a rare shaky Chien-Ming Wang start. One of Craig Wilson‘s four Bomber home runs was all they could muster before the ninth against Jered Weaver and a couple of relievers.
Earl Weaver pulled his evil magic on this day in 1978, as a five-run Yankee uprising was negated when Earl and his Orioles wasted time until the rains came. The Yanks lost the five-spot they had earned in the top of the seventh, and the score reverted to 3-0, Orioles.
The amazing occurrence mentioned in the day’s second highlight above came about because the Yankees selected the contracts of first baseman Tyler Austin and right fielder Aaron Judge from the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders earlier in the day. The team was able to do this by transferring righthander Conor Mullee from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list, with carpal tunnel syndrome-like symptoms; and by optioning righty Ben Heller to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The club also activated first baseman Chris Parmelee from the 15-day disabled list and sent him outright to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The Yankees optioned righty Nick Goody to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on August 13, 2015, thereby creating a roster spot, then selected the contract of first baseman Greg Bird from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
As came into play in this report well above this point, on August 13, 2012, the Yankees optioned Ryota Igarashi to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to make room for a new signee: free agent righthander Derek Lowe, who would earn a save this day.
Once the Yankees activated righthander Michael Pineda from the 60-day disabled list on August 13, 2014, he became a viable rotation member, successfully ending a year that had been largely lost to an embarrassing suspension, and then injury. The team designated righty Chris Leroux for assignment to create roster space.
On August 13, 2011, the Yankees signed righty pitcher John Brebbia.
Satchel Paige threw his first complete game in the bigs, a 5-0 Indians win, on August 13, 1948.
Numerical anomalies or evenly matched game? The Pirates and Superbas played in a game suspended by darkness on August 13, 1910, and each team amassed the following identical stats: eight runs, 13 hits, 38 at bats, five strikeouts, three walks, one hit batter, one passed ball, 13 assists, 27 putouts, and two errors; they used two pitchers apiece as well.
The outlandish Rickey Henderson leads off two further August 13 items featuring future or former Yankee players because he paid new teammate Turner Ward $25,000 for the number 24 once he was traded from Oakland to Toronto on this day in 1993. And Don Gullett, who would wear Pinstripes six years later, pitched no-hit ball into the eighth inning in an 8-2 Reds win over the Cubs on August 13, 1971.
If the loss of Mickey Mantle (1995) this day were not enough, long-time Hall of Fame shortstop and broadcaster Phil Rizzuto died this day in 2007. Both he and The Mick played their entire careers here, with Mickey posting 536 (often tape-measure) home runs with 1,509 rbi’s from 1951-1968. The Scooter reached just 38 fences and drove in 563 runs from 1941-1956, and he managed one AL MVP to three by The Mick. But Phil’s long years in the broadcast booth endeared him to baseball fans everywhere. And it gets worse. Former super-successful Yankee General Manager George Weiss passed away on August 13, 1972. And finally, righthander Charlie Devens‘s (2003) 16 games (10 starts) for the 1932-1934 Yankees was his only big-league service; he won five and lost three.
The only noteworthy nonYankee player to die this day until 2012 was portsided outfielder Mel Almada (1988), who hit 15 home runs good for 197 rbi’s from 1933-1939, mostly for the Red Sox, but with short stops with the Senators and the Browns too. But a much more famous Red Sox star, lefty-hitting, righty-throwing infielder Johnny Pesky, he of the “Pesky pole,” who played most of his 1942-1954 career in Boston, with 17 home runs and 404 rbi’s, died on this day in 2012.
Players Who Have Died This Day
The August 13 Yankee birthday club has expanded by one with the 2010 season, and quite happily as the season has progressed. Southpaw Boone Logan (1984), who arrived in the Bronx along with Javier Vazquez in a trade with Atlanta, had posted a 5-5 record with one save after three years with the White Sox and one with the Braves. Boone, who was the lone Yankee lefty reliever much of the time since he arrived, had an up-and-down stay in the Bronx, more positive than not, but when he does struggle, it’s more often than not a failure to get out lefties. He flourished in 2012 with fellow southpaw Clay Rapada added to the roster, and threw well in 2013 as well, without another lefty around. Following offseason arm surgery, Boone signed with Colorado for 2014, where he has pitched in double-digit games around some lingering injury issues. The Yankee pen has not effectively replaced him with another portsider.
Five other Yankee players were born on August 13, and that is not counting former bullpen coach (a cancer survivor coaching with the Red Sox) Tony Cloninger (1940), whose greatest claim to fame as a player was hitting two grand slams in the same game as a pitcher.
Lefty thrower Kemp Wicker (1906) went 9-5 in the Bronx in 1936 through 1938, finishing up in Brooklyn in 1941. He added a win, two losses, and a save to his career mark playing for the Dodgers.
Also a portsider, Bob Weisler (1930) went 3-6 for the Yanks over three seasons in the early fifties, with three more in Washington afterward, once he was traded there by New York with Whitey Herzog, Lou Berberet, Herb Plews, and Dick Tettelbach for Mickey McDermott and Bobby Kline in February 1956.
Bill Stafford (1939) was a vital part of the Yankee staff from 1960 through 1965, with a 43-35 mark and nine saves; then he played two years in K.C. A 1957 amateur free agent signing by the Yanks, Stafford was traded with Gil Blanco and Roger Repoz to the Kansas City Athletics for Fred Talbot and Billy Bryan in June 1966.
Fred “Chicken” Stanley‘s (1947) 1973-1980 stint with the Yanks, with six homers and 78 rbi’s, fell right in the middle of his 14 big-league years. It started once he was traded by the Padres to New York for minor leaguer George Pena in October 1972, and ended when he was moved to the Oakland Athletics for Mike Morgan in November 1980.
Jay Buhner (1964) hit only three dingers with 13 rbi’s in New York in 1987 and 1988 before his trade to Seattle for Ken Phelps in July 1988. Ironically, until that point Buhner could have been used as an argument that the Yanks were trading wisely, and for youth. When the Bombers got Jay along with Dale Berra and Alfonso Pulido in December 1984, it cost them nothing but vets Steve Kemp and Tim Foli.
Other birthdays: Sid Gordon (1917); Vinegar Bend Mizell (1930); Mudcat Grant (1935); Andre Thornton (1949); Tom Niedenfuhr (1959); Tom Prince (1964); Mark Lemke (1965); righty starter Alex Fernandez (1969), who won 107 while losing 87 for the White Sox and the Marlins from 1900 to 2000; Jarrod Washburn (1974); Will Ohman (1977); Corey Patterson (1979); Roman Colon (1979); Jon Switzer (1979); Jonah Bayliss (1980); Randy Messenger (1981); Dallas Braden (1983); Scott Elbert (1985); Dustin Garneau (1987); J.J. Hoover (1987); Brandon Workman (1988); Joe Ortiz (1990); Hansel Robles (1990); Randall Grichuk (1991); and Taijuan Walker (1992).
Players Born This Day